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Focus On The STORY Of Your Podcast's Episodes
Episode 6918th January 2022 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
00:00:00 00:12:08

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Many podcasters say they want to improve their shows.

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One often overlooked area of improvement is you.

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Specifically, your ability to tell better stories with your episodes.

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This mnemonic device can help.

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Hello, and welcome to another Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

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One of the most crucial skills for podcasters is the ability to tell stories.

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In fact, barring some weird edge cases and some experimental creators,

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I'll go so far as to say that every podcaster is a story teller, whether

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they consider themselves to be or not.

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I'd say that your ability to tell stories is more important

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than the tambour of voice.

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Your ability to tell stories is more important than your equipment stack.

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And, probably, your ability to tell stories is more important

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than how much money you allocate to marketing your podcast.

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But a lot of podcasters, perhaps you, see storytelling as an innate skill that,

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like having a good voice, is something that you either have or you don't.

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That's simply not true.

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Storytelling is definitely a skill that can be acquired.

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Storytelling is a discipline with many practitioners offering workshops,

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classes, and one-on-one trainings.

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One of those practitioners is Dawn Fraser.

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I attended a presentation of hers recently on the topic of storytelling.

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Specifically, her presentation was designed to help podcasters use stories

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to create riveting podcast content.

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While I am a capable storyteller, I am neither a teacher of

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the art of storytelling, nor am I a storytelling coach.

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So it is with all deference to Dawn that I relate her clever mnemonic

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device to help you, the serious podcaster, rethink how you can tell

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better stories on your podcast.

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Feel free to jot these ideas down, take a few notes as you listen along.

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But, as always, the salient bits of this information I'm going to

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pass on to you are in the episode details right in your listening app.

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There's also a link to a written-to-be-read article that

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contains all of this information for your later perusal.

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And if you're smartly subscribed to Podcast Pontifications In Your

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Inbox, it's already emailed to you.

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Dawn's technique for podcasters has an easy to remember acronym, S-T-O-R-Y.

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The S is for Stakes.

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The Stakes are not the why of the episode, it's the want of the episode.

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It's the hunger.

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It's a soon-to-be-fulfilled need.

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It's an expectation that you, the podcaster, set either explicitly or

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implicitly at the beginning of the story, beginning of your episode,

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and that keeps your audience locked in place as you continue through.

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Those are the Stakes.

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The T in STORY is for Theme.

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This is, if you will, the meat of the episode.

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You've heard me talk before many times about topic and angle and this is it.

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This is that, but it's more than just that.

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It's the actual thing you're doing, right?

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The nice thing about having your theme, your topic, and your angle, and where

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you're taking the story is it enables you to trim the fat, ensuring that all of the

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parts of your episode fit the framework, this theme, that you've established.

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But also, only those parts make it into your episode, really helps you

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clean house when you have a focus around your theme of the episode.

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The O is for Organization.

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How will the episode itself unfold?

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You know that every story has a beginning and a middle and an end, sure.

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But sometimes for your podcast episodes, it's better to start in

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the middle, sometimes even right near the climax, and then guide your

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listeners through a less obvious path.

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Another key part of Organization is making sure that along the journey

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you're answering questions, all the objections that may come up,

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dealing with any uncertainties, and making sure you're headed

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towards a loose-end-free conclusion.

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That's why Organization is so important.

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R is for Recreating, specifically, if you're retelling a story

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because you're not retelling a story, you're recreating it.

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You're not trying to repeat the story as it happens, you are recreating it.

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Recreate the experience for those who you are telling the story to now.

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They weren't there.

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They need a different structure, a different recreation.

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You have to summarize those points of what really happened and create

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scenes necessary to make the story work as a podcast episode.

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This is also the time to remember the old adage "show,

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don't tell" when you recreate.

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R is for recreate.

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Finally, the Y is for You.

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You are an integral part of every single story that you share.

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You need to be honest, authentic, and relatable, sure.

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And you also need to stand in for us, the listening audience.

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You are our proxy.

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You get us deeper into the stories you tell on your podcasting episodes, you,

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because your name isn't Wikipedia, right?

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Y is for You.

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Now, remember that, with a very few educational and experimental podcasts

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aside, every podcaster is a storyteller.

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If you need some help with your storytelling, don't talk

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to me, but definitely you can try out Dawn's S.T.O.R.Y.

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approach.

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And if you need more dedicated training visit her website dawnjfraser.com.

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There's a link in the podcast listening app you're listening to right now.

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She was amazing at that talk and no, by the way, this was not a sponsored episode.

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Just some excellent advice I heard and a clever mnemonic that I wanted

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to pass along to you so that you could use this technique to tell

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better stories on your podcast, which helps make podcasting better.

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With that, I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

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Cheers!

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Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra.

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He's on a mission to make podcasting better.

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Links to everything mentioned in today's episode are in the notes

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section of your podcast listening app.

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A written-to-be-read article based on today's episode is available at

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podcastpontifications.com where you'll also find a video version and a corrected

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transcript, both created by Allie Press.

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Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.